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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cover of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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With knowledge, spirit, good humor, and passion, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. brings to life a remarkable man whose thoughts and actions speak to our most burning contemporary issues...
With knowledge, spirit, good humor, and passion, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. brings to life a remarkable man whose thoughts and actions speak to our most burning contemporary issues...
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  • With knowledge, spirit, good humor, and passion, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. brings to life a remarkable man whose thoughts and actions speak to our most burning contemporary issues and still inspire the desires, hopes, and dreams of us all.
    Written in his own words, this history-making autobiography is Martin Luther King: the mild-mannered, inquisitive child and student who chafed under and eventually rebelled against segregation; the dedicated young minister who continually questioned the depths of his faith and the limits of his wisdom; the loving husband and father who sought to balance his family's needs with those of a growing, nationwide movement; and the reflective, world-famous leader who was fired by a vision of equality for people everywhere.

    Relevant and insightful, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. offers King's seldom disclosed views on some of the world's greatest and most controversial figures: John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mahatma Gandhi, and Richard Nixon. It also paints a rich and moving portrait of a people, a time, and a nation in the face of powerful change. Finally, it shows how everyday Americans from all walks of life confronted themselves, each other, and the burden of the past-and how their fears and courage helped shape our future.

Synopsis-

  • The inspiring, never-before-published autobiography of the world's greatest civil rights leader--constructed from his writings, correspondence, and interviews, many of them never before made public.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 2, 1998
    Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project and author of A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., has pieced together an incomplete study of King's life by supplementing his extant autobiographies (e.g., Stride Toward Freedom and Where Do We Go from Here) with previously unpublished and published writings, interviews and speeches. If King's rhetorical flourishes and use of the word "negro" sometimes seem outdated, the compilation still offers a concise first-person account of his life from his birth in Atlanta in 1929 to his awakening social consciousness and discovery of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. History propelled King to center stage in the struggle for black liberation. When Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat in 1955, the "once dormant and quiescent Negro community was now fully awake" and King, along with many others in Montgomery's black community, organized the bus boycott that would launch King into his leadership role in the civil rights movement. The book offers glimpses of King's family life as well a view of famous Americans such as Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and JFK. (In 1960, King did not feel "there was much difference between Kennedy and Nixon." He writes, "I felt at points that he was so concerned about being President of the United States that he would compromise basic principles.") But what is most evident throughout Carson's study is the moral courage that sustained King and allowed him to inspire a largely peaceful mass movement against segregation in the face of bloody reprisals. (Dec.) FYI: In November, Carol Publishing will release Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X, by his nephew Rodnell P. Collins.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 1998
    Carson, who in 1985 was asked by the King family to direct the editing and publication of King's papers, constructs a first-person narrative.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from November 15, 1998
    Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project, brings together selections from King's writings, speeches, and recordings to create this fascinating "autobiography" of the famed civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner. The writings trace King's struggles with religion, philosophy, and the racial politics of the U.S. They reveal his youthful attraction to Henry David Thoreau's stance on the moral obligation to resist evil as much as to cooperate with good, and Mahatma Gandhi's teachings on nonviolent resistance to oppression. This work offers King's view on a number of thorny issues; on Rosa Parks and the bus boycott in Birmingham that launched the civil rights movement, for example, King characterizes her actions as spontaneous rather than planned, which has been suggested. He contrasts the racial milieu and tactics needed to address racism in the North versus the South and sees the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the culmination of the nonviolent resistance movement, as "first written in the streets" with the success of the protest marches. This stunning, passionate collection of writings also reveals King's impressions of other famous leaders of the time, including presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and activists Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X. ((Reviewed November 15, 1998))(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 1998, American Library Association.)

  • New York Times Book Review "Valuable . . . worthy . . . King was consistently eloquent and polished, a master of word and effect, possessed of a voice that was unmistakable and true."
  • Ebony "Revealing . . . comprehensive . . . brings King's spirit to life, leaving us finally not with a larger-than-life icon, but with a man full of humor, humility, and honor."
  • The New Yorker "Exceptionally successful . . . illuminates the intellectual underpinnings of King's courage."
  • Library Journal "Highest recommendation . . . compelling . . . Carson creates an eloquent and expressive narrative [and] lets MLK's distinct first-person perspective resonate through the book."
  • Seattle Times & Post-Intelligencer "A stunning re-creation, persuasive in the feeling of its authenticity . . . Carson succeeds admirably. . . . Reveals the humanity of a man who is now almost an icon."
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "A fascinating, often insightful look at one of the greatest Americans. . . . Carson [provides] a full treatment of King's emergence as a national figure . . . [and gives] a useful overview of his life and achievements."
  • America "Remarkable . . . Dr. King speaks eloquently and powerfully through these pages and affords readers a privileged look into his mind and heart. . . . Read this book. If it does nothing else, it will remind you of a voice we sorely miss."
  • Gospel Today "Carson has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of King that is brought to bear in this work."

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    Grand Central Publishing
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